Newton School tunes up

This year every student will learn to play an instrument

Jason Burbank demonstrates the violin to students at the Newton School in Greenfield as students returned to classes Tuesday. Recorder/Paul Franz

Jason Burbank demonstrates the violin to students at the Newton School in Greenfield as students returned to classes Tuesday. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

GREENFIELD — Harmonious tunes and a chorus of singing echoed throughout the classrooms and hallways at Newton School on Tuesday as local musicians played violins, mandolins and ukuleles in an effort to expose students to music.

This year, all students will learn how to play a string instrument. Students will get free violin and ukulele lessons from the Artspace Community Arts Center in Greenfield.

To highlight this year’s emphasis on music, Principal Melodie Goodwin invited community members to play instruments in the classrooms on the first day of school.

“I love teaching and being able to show music,” said Jason Burbank of Montague, who played the ukulele.

The musicians from the Artspace traveled to and from the classes, playing songs from the “ABC Song” to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” As a first-grade class lined up for a bathroom break, Cecilia Berger of the Artspace surprised the students with her cello performance.

Berger is the director of the Strings For Kids program, which partners with the school department to provide free violin and cello lessons to grades 3 to 7.

“This is great,” Berger said. “It’s important to know there is opportunity out there for all ages to come learn.”

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268 On Twitter, follow @RecorderKatMcK

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